Hail to the Chief

Originally Posted January 20, 2009

I think just about everyone in the world watched the inaugural speech by President Obama today. I think it was a solid speech, delivered with a lot of power, but I don’t think he gave us one of those, “ask not what your country can do for you” or “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down these walls” moments. He’s certainly capable of that, but I think he’s keeping his powder dry for the State of the Union.

The greatest achievement today is the United States proving to the world what a peaceful transfer of power looks like. Obama was sworn in with Bush and several other former Presidents present. There were no bombs, or threats, or bullshit. There were no tanks, or riots, or deaths. We did it in a way that only civilized countries, with great people and great tradition do it. We fired off some cannons to bring the new guy in, shook hands, gave a speech and then retired to a bunch of parties for the rest of the evening.

Simple. Peaceful.

I want you to imagine for a moment that you are the guy who vowed to protect the United States today. You go dance with your wife and head back to your new house (and it’s a big empty house). You’re tired from a long campaign and shaking hands and delivering speeches. You go to sleep and wake up the next day, grab some coffee and someone in your staff hands you the President’s Daily Brief that tells you just how fucked up the world is today.

Even with all the power you now have and all the goodwill you want to bring to the planet… that has to be the loneliest job on the Earth. I wish President Obama all the luck and wisdom possible… he’s going to need it.

I’ll tell you one thing. If you looked out at that crowd today and saw the throngs of people who stood for hours in 19 degree weather to glimpse the first black President deliver words of hope to a frightened nation… a frightened planet, then you’ll understand why I’m proud to be an American today.

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